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Educate Together hit with financial uncertainty

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 15/10/2014. Educate Together hit with financial uncertaintyTags: Education And Politics Parenting

The multi-denominational Educate Together organisation that run schools in both primary, and now secondary, has been hit with a ‘financial crisis’ on funding for it’s new developments.

The schooling organisation has set up an appeal for financial help to continue with school services. It says without proper funding and ‘unless resolved, this may force [it] to significantly reduce services to schools - and it may dramatically reduce [their] ability to transform the Irish education system.’

The organisation has already opened 74 primary schools and 3 secondary schools around Ireland and has been asked to open considerable more schools in the coming years. However, without proper funding these new openings are uncertain. They are appealing for donations and for the government to offer them more financial aid than the 15% they have currently contributed.

The organisation’s CEO, Paul Rowe, said in a letter to the schools supporters that ‘Educate Together was now entering into a period of real financial crisis.’

He told the Irish Independent ‘that while its costs were escalating, the organisation had yet to receive Government funding for its work in opening secondary schools. He added that the state contribution of €10,000 towards their primary school start-up costs was inadequate.’

According to Rowe, the cost of opening a primary school over four years is 95,000 euro with secondary schools costing more. Rowe said that so far the state has provided little financial support for primary school services, and no support for eight new schools that are to be built in the next three years.

Luke O’Shaughnessy, the organisation’s communication officer, said that in some cases, there is insufficient funding and resources to run schools that have been built by the Dept of Education. Therefore making these buildings effectively ‘ghost schools’ unless patrons could be found to run them.

According to the Irish Independent, a spokesperson for the Department of Education said it did provide money for school start-ups, but it did not fund a patron body's own costs.


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